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STT man strikes seven cars in attempt to evade police

Mugshot of Kenneth Rogers. Photo: USVIPD

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, ST. THOMAS - What started as a simple traffic violation for not wearing a seatbelt escalated into a high-speed police chase, multiple collisions, and felony charges against Kenneth Rogers. The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when police were conducting traffic checks on Turpentine Roadway.

According to court documents, an officer spotted Rogers driving a white Chevrolet Malibu westbound without a seatbelt. When the officer approached the vehicle to instruct Rogers to buckle up, the driver made an illegal U-turn and sped away. Another officer pursued the fleeing Malibu, eventually catching up with it in the Havensight area.

Ignoring the police sirens and flashing lights, Rogers continued his flight, accelerating through the Veteran's Drive area and onto Moravian highway. Along the way, he collided with multiple vehicles including a Toyota Tacoma, Honda CR-V, and a Toyota RAV-4 near the Territorial Management Agency offices.

He also struck three other vehicles on Julian Jackson Drive—a Ford F-150, a Jeep Wrangler, and a Kia Rio.

After hitting the Rio, a man wearing a yellow shirt and navy blue shorts reportedly jumped out of the passenger side of the Malibu and fled the scene.

Rogers finally complied with police commands to stop and was detained. A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered an undisclosed quantity of a green leafy substance and a digital scale among other personal belongings.

Investigations revealed that Rogers had run several red lights during the chase. The Malibu, registered to another individual, had to be towed from the scene. Rogers was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and interfering with an officer. Unable to post the stipulated $30,000 bail, he was remanded into the custody of the Bureau of Corrections.

In a court hearing on Monday, Magistrate Simone VanHolten-Turnbull found probable cause to uphold both charges against Rogers.

She allowed a 5 percent cash posting of the total bail for his release. If released before the trial, Rogers will be restricted to the St. Thomas/St. John district and will have to adhere to several conditions, including a daily curfew and employment requirements.

Magistrate VanHolten-Turnbull also ordered that the V.I. Police Department must provide body cam footage related to the incident to both the prosecution and the defense.

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